I did not clean my car for this photo shoot.

I did not clean my car for this photo shoot.

I will not show you the inside of my car.  No I won’t.

No Answers

On the subject of what to do about all of the junk that continuously litters my car; I find I have no answers.  None at all.  I have tried.  I have tried really hard.  But I continue to fail at this.  I suppose it is because all I have to do is shut the door and then not look at it anymore.

I can just walk in the house.  It (the monster) is outside.  Outa sight and outa mind.  I am inside.  Safe and sound.

I don’t see IT.   I’m not stumbling over IT as I walk through the house.   And therefore I have no motivation to do anything about IT.

That mirror is filthy!

That mirror is filthy!

The Problem

Here is the deal.  I’m constantly carting around 4 children ages 2-11 and possibly a few friends.  I do something that I know many of you will be horrified at.  I let them eat in the car.

Before you say “there is the problem, Allison,” let me offer this two-pronged response.

I don't want to know what that stuff is. I just want it to go.

I don’t want to know what that stuff is.  I just want it to go.

My 2 Reasons

#1  There are times that certain things just would not get done if I did not let them eat in the car.

#2  Many times, in fact most times, when we run errands I try to do a lot in one run.  Well, the little angels get hungry.  Do I want to listen to complaining and whining.  NO.  I hate that! I mean it is not my favorite! I want happy campers in my car.  So?  Food!  Food is always the answer!  Feed ’em and they’re quiet.  Feed anyone and they’re happier than they were moments before.

Ya know. With everything else that has to be cleaned in life. This just gets last place in my book.

Ya know.  With everything else that has to be cleaned in life, this just gets last place in my book.

A Long Time Ago, In A Galaxy Far, Far Away

Pre-children I always had a clean car.  But now, as I slide behind the wheel, I force myself not to look at the front passenger floor board, or the grunge in the console, or heaven forbid, underneath the carseat or the worst of all……. underneath the middle seats.  You know when you fold it down to let someone in the way back.  Yeah, that part.

Ok. Open door. Avert eyes. Keep looking strait ahead and all will be fine.

Ok.  Open door.  Avert eyes.  Keep looking strait ahead and all will be fine.


Oh, wait, how about the drink holders, in the way back (the area I really can’t see on a regular basis) next to where my 6-year-old boy has been sitting for the last 3 years.  There have been swimming pools made of melted chocolate bar, root beer and cheerios in those things that sat there for God only knows how long before anyone noticed.  Any adult anyway.

The Husband Solution

My husband says, “Honey, just take things in every time you come in the house and make the kids do it too.”  Right.  It doesn’t work.  My hands seem to always be full of other things i.e. groceries, etc.   And the children usually carry things in, but………It is just a problem.

Also, it has been a job for my 11 year old to clean out in the past…..And she does a good job, but still……

Ok.  You can have a tiny peek.  Front passenger floorboard.  Nice.  Trust me.  It gets worse.

Ok. You can have a tiny peek. Front passenger floorboard. Nice. Trust me. It gets worse.

Oh Lord.  Make It Not So.

The other day, we had spontaneous house guests (5 minutes notice).  Friends of my husbands from law school.  I’d never met them.  2 kids.  The guys took our 2 year old to pick up pizza.  They had to take my car because of the carseat.  To my horror!  I just apologized profusely and…..haven’t done anything about it.

I sure would like to know if anyone has come up with some kind of miraculous answer to this problem.  Let me know, PLEASE!

God Bless You!  Have A Great Day!

PS.  I’m still wondering if I will regret this post……


  1. Tracey Justice-Shannonhouse says:

    Hey Allison – I’ve enjoyed reading your website tonight!!!! Tracey

  2. Tammy says:

    Aha! I knew it. I knew I was not the only mother of 4 with a Suburban that doubles as a movie theater floor after 7 showings of the latest and greatest kids’ flick.

    We have the same issue. Any time my husband needs to take it somewhere he has to clean it out and he just gets mad. Or since he works at a dealership, he’ll take it to have it detailed and then he gets mad because he’s embarrassed about the rock solid half a cheeseburger under the seat that someone found. He complains about it all the time like I’M the one that spilled the Dr. Pepper in those way back cup holders that you could probably use for glue now – that is if you can even get it out.

    I don’t sit in the back. I don’t leave chicken nuggets between the seats or french fries under them. I don’t spill soda and then try to clean it up with the boy’s jacket. I don’t lose the foam covers to the headphones.

    But what I DO do is take my kids on road trips and vacations and camping and to art festivals and the museum and a million other places. I’m pretty sure that’s the same with you. So while we may have icky pits of cheerios and funk, we also have happy kids that have been loved along the way and we have stories because of it.

    I once saw the saying that stories only happen to people that can tell them, so don’t think of it as a mess. Think of it as story building.

  3. Allison says:

    I am sitting here howling at your comment. Love it. Love it. And I will definitely start thinking of it as story building. That is wonderful!

  4. Cathy says:

    So what I’d like to know is why the family vehicle needs to/has to stay clean when the work truck does not? Am I not, in a big sense, driving a “work” vehicle? My work for now is at home…or with the kids, where ever we are. My work IS messy. Three children ages 4-10. One dog. ‘Nuff said? So why does my dear husband expect my vehicle to look like it did right after the auto dealership sold it to us…directly after it was detailed?

    Do I like it immaculate? Of course!
    Do our children appreciate it clean? Of course! (They even comment when I have made feeble attempts.)
    Does my husband like it neat and clean? You know it!

    So, I am resigned to the fact that my children do not eat in the car. Not THIS car that we’ve had only 6 months, anyways — unless we’re on a road trip. Then, it’s only “neat” food…dry cereal, snack mix, and the like. Food that vacuums well…not melting, dripping, sticky varieties. Drinks (water only, thank you) must be in a lidded and valved cup. Period. Even the huffy/puffy ten year old boy that is too big for a sippy cup!

    How am I doing? Well, hmmm, not so well with all of it…but there is one area I’m doing well with. The FRONT (my terrain). Trash is passed up to me and deposited in the map pockets in my front door — EVERY time I am at a trash can (filling up w/ gas, drive through, etc) I empty that pocket out. I have my things on the front passenger seat and I am QUICK to take them in at the end of the day…when the beloved spouse might want to ride in the car and need a seat.

    When I think of the other stuff (translate: when I have to get something out of the “nether regions” of the car) I cringe! I either gather an armload or grab a laundry basket and fill it up. Literally. Usually to overflowing. Books, jackets, shoes, socks, *important* papers, crayons, babies (plastic variety, not human, thank you!). I then deposit the arm full or the basket outside the door from the garage to the laundry room. I see it every time someone comes in or out. I give the kids fair warning on their items. Then, when I’ve seen enough of it being dug through and left…and left…and left…I pitch it! I’ve done it once, so far, and am about to announce the “Last Day” on the current pile.

    Please, PLEASE bear in mind I am not consistent with this new system. I want to be. I LONG to be. However, with all honesty, I am not. It’s a process. I am always having to tweak and fine tune my “systems” so I can do (translate: want to do) them. I’ll keep you posted on how my STORY BUILDING is coming along.


  5. Allison says:

    Thank you. I’m getting ideas here. I’m going to reread your comment again. And very funny, by the way!

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